Chemicals & Petrochemicals

Cases & publications: pushing the boundaries

Wherever we can, PSE brings transformational technology and approaches to areas that have been addressed using traditional simulation tools in the same way for many years.

The application of high-fidelity models coupled with rigorous mathematical optimisation technologies almost always identifies potential for significant additional value creation, even for 'already-optimised' processes.


Each of the cases below represents a major advance in the state-of-the art for Chemicals & Petrochemicals processes.

New multitubular reactor design

New design for reactor shell and optimal utilisation of catalyst for high-performance MTR. First design to achieve uniform yield from all tubes in multitubular arrangement. The customer was able to perform their own detailed design and commission local construction.


Customer: Korean petrochmicals manufacturer
Key technologies: custom reaction kinetics, parameter estimation, AML:FBCR, Hybrid Multitubular gPROMS-CFD interface
Benefits: estimated saving of $15m on reactor design and construction

High-performance terephthaldehyde reactor

Design of optimal multitubular reactor for terephthaldehyde production with optimal utilisation of catalyst to achieve uniform yield across tube bank and maximise catalyst lifetime.


Customer: LG Chem, Ltd
Key technologies: custom reaction kinetics, parameter estimation, AML:FBCR, Hybrid Multitubular gPROMS-CFD interface
Benefits: optimised catalyst life
See also: Hydrocarbon Processing article

Optimisation of new process

Whole-plant optimisation of a new propylene oxide process, applying simultaneous optimisation of reactor and separation sections with 49 decision variables and cost calculations with economic objective function to minumise annualised cost. Previously the plant had been 'optimised' using a traditional process simulator.


Customer: Repsol
Key technologies: custom reaction kinetics, parameter estimation, mixed-integer optimisation
Benefits: tens of millions of Euros' improvement in process economics over 'already optimised' design
See also: Hydrocarbon Processing article

Ethylene plant optimisation

Application of optimisation techniques to rigorous steam cracking kinetic models implemented within PSE's cracker models to a series of large-scale olefins plants.


Customer: Middle East olefins producer
Key technologies: detailed cracking kinetics, PSE cracker models, parameter estimation, optimisation
Benefits: 1.5-2.5% improvement in yield from $1bn/year operation


PSE has published numerous papers and articles on innovative applications for Chemicals & Petrochemicals production as can be seen in the side menu.

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